Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Evolution! of planets, landscapes, mammals, birds and brains

Evolution in a broad sense is a very common theme in our most recent shipment of books, as is evident by these titles:
  • Lives of the planets : a natural history of the solar system
  • After the dinosaurs : the age of mammals
  • Galapagos : the islands that changed the world
  • Evolutionary bioinformatics
  • Making sense of evolution
  • Biological emergences : evolution by natural experiment
  • Scientists confront intelligent design and creationism
  • The geometry of evolution : adaptive landscapes and theoretical morphospaces
  • Evolution and the levels of selection
  • The tinkerer's accomplice : how design emerges from life itself
  • The inner bird : anatomy and evolution
One of the most intriguing of this batch is David Linden's The Accidental Mind: how brain evolution has given us love, memory, dreams, and God. David Linden shows how the "brain is not an optimized, general-purpose problem-solving machine, but rather a weird agglomeration of ad-hoc solutions that have been piled on through millions of years of evolutionary history." Linden addresses the question "are there some aspects of brain function that, on the average, make it easy for humans to acquire and transmit religious thought?" He then tries to convince the reader that "our brains have become particularly adapted to creating coherent, gap-free stories and that this propensity for narrative creation is part of what predisposes humans to religious thought."

Now on the new book display. Visit The Accidental Mind Blog.

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